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'Help us prevent crime and protect ourselves' is the key message that over 1,100 children told the Howard League fo...
'Help us prevent crime and protect ourselves' is the key message that over 1,100 children told the Howard League for Penal Reform in a survey released today.

The 11-15 year olds were consulted as part of the Howard League's Citizenship & Crime programme, which helps them to examine the consequences of crime and explore strategies for avoiding trouble. The consultation revealed that children have complicated lives, and involvement in largely low level crime is part of the growing up process, whether as victim, perpetrator or both.

When asked whether they had been victims of crime, less than four per cent said they had never been affected. Of those who had:

-- 66% said they had been hit or kicked by someone, more than

half of them had been victims more than once

-- 50% had been called racist taunts

-- 50% had had something stolen from them whilst at school

-- 24% had been 'touched' or 'flashed' at

Frances Crook, the Howard League's director, said:

'Children often don't view themselves as victims of crime, they seem to be resigned to it and think it's just the way life is. They develop their own strategies for dealing with threat, yet they feel adults rarely listen to their suggestions about how crime could be prevented'.

When asked about how to prevent crime, the children suggested:

-- giving them activities and safe places, so they can

hang out together in safer environments

taking their concerns seriously

-- police should stop viewing all young people as trouble

makers and treat them with more respect

-- more initiatives introduced in schools and other places, providing

counselling services and information on reducing crime.

The consultation results are being released today to celebrate the 10,000th child taking part in the programme. Actor, Prunella Scales, will be presenting the child at Claremont High School in North London with a commemorative certificate.


-- A summary of the results of the consultation are available online. Click here .

-- In the Howard League's Citizenship & Crime programme, 13 and 14 year olds take time out of their normal timetable and engage in mock courts, quizzes, role-plays and games aimed at giving them the knowledge and skills to reject anti-social behaviour.

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